Mar 17, 2020
As Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, explains, the politicization of Census 2020 has made it the most complex enumeration of our American experience. Presidentially imposed barriers to participation in the census by all people in the United States, as constitutionally mandated, has generated high levels of engagement by faith, corporate, public sector, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders in using their clout and resources to ensure a robust count. They are collaborating on organizing and communication strategies, including the development and testing of messages that resonate with the vulnerable communities they represent. These messages are key to overcoming the fear of participation. While message development is vital, it takes, as Vanita observes, trusted messengers to effectively deliver them. At this stage, trusted messengers are rolling out campaigns at the neighborhood level. Whether they are church leaders, librarians, social service providers or community organizers, family members or friends, these are the influencers that we all need to value and support. Vanita hopes that the media will follow these trusted messengers, tell their stories, and deepen our collective understanding of why the census is so important to all of us.